By all means, this is going to be another South Korea which is going to take decades to build and by the time most of us are in the retirement home, this country will finally find it's legs.
72% Voter Turnout in Iraq
and to close this thread. I doubt whether they'll be putting up statues for kerry or kennedy any time soon..
Yes, the vast majority of the soldiers talked about the good that was happening there. They talk about how just a few are causing all the problems that are reported on tv. Many of the Iraqi's are very happy, very grateful of what the US is doing there. I have talked to several who were making schools for the children. Tales of Iraqi people crying of happiness. Some Iraqi people are very happy, but nervous to show it, or talk about it. Remember, you rebel against the government before, and you died. Hard for some of them to openly show their gratitude.
The soldiers of course are nervous, but their attitudes for the most part are upbeat and positive.
Quite a few soldiers told me how disgusted they were about the media. Yes, some bad stuff going on, no doubt. But the lack of stories talking about the good going on. Perhaps that just doesn't make good television.
I'm not sure why your reply is so ignorant and unduly emotional.
I dunno. Guess you took it the wrong way.
Find out more about living in the Russian or Indian democracies and you'll understand my point. The point about Russia embracing democracy is this: does the fact that people go to polls mean there's a democracy in a country in the Western sense of the word? What exactly does it take to have a democracy? If it's only about peolpe choosing their government in direct elections then is it always the best political system to impose? To turn your comment on its head: I just don't get why Americans get so excited about the alleged 72% Iraqis going to the polls. Let's see who gets elected and what it means for Iraq.
So the people of Iraq shouldn't be given a chance because the Russians half-heartedly tried democracy? You think it's better to have a dictator in charge? What it means for Iraq is a first step. Russia has a retarded version of democracy. When someone like Putin can still imprison his political opponents, it's not a democracy. It's still a form of dictatorship.
Sorry, but I find your ignorance personally offending. You certainly know nothing about the role of many European countries other than France or Germany. Poland has been present in the Iraqi campaign from day one (first special troops then a constant force of 2000+ troops dozens of whom have been killed). Spain has paid the price for their participation. Of course Britain is not a European state for you either. I guess the Hollywood industry will help to instill the kind of histroical truths about America's and "Europe's" roles in Iraq which you seem to hold already. Kind of helps me understand how come so many Americans believe they won the WW2 single-handedly.
Personally, I don't care. I'm free to state my opinion. I find your "you certainly know nothing..." offensive. I do my homework. I don't? Sorry, I forgot to mention the Polish troops in Iraq. Yes, all 2,000 of them. And Britians troops, yes, great, bravo. I believe Holland threw in a few non-combat troops. Yes, Spain did a wonderful job caving in. Probably gave the terrorists leaders plenty of ammo to pump up their troops. Here in the U.S. grade school children are taught who helped us during the American Revolution. The help France gave us via their navy is known to all school children. The French Royal Navy was the only navy that faught with Ameican forces. We also learned about General Pulaski. But without the French navy, I doubt the American Revolution would have been won in the same way. Iraqi history will show that yes, a few countries sent token troops but that the Americans sent by far the most. Americans in greater numbers supported indepence of Iraq while most Europeans didn't. But I'm sure most in Europe will justify it in their mind. Regarding WWII, America won the Pacific war zone single-handly. In Europe, Germany would probably have fallen even without American help but it happened a lot sooner with our help.
I give them a lot of credit and I wish them the best. The "democracy" of my country rarely has such a turnout. I'm just not sure if the great benefits of living under democracy which they owe us will outweigh their losses.
As do I. I believe that too many in the former Warsaw pact thought that democracy would paved all the roads with gold. I don't knw if things are better there or not. I guess only the people living in those countries can comment on that. Here in the U.S. it's not only been a matter of democracy but also the fact that we have such a wide and plentyful land. We can feed our own people and have vast natural resources. What I find most disappointing is all the protests throughout Europe (and even here in the States) against the U.S. but I haven't seen one protest against the "insurgents" who are killing innocent Iraqis. Again - IMO - most war protesters were just anti-Bush and could give a shit for the people of Iraq.
u/d ( of the I told yo so class)
[quote]Simon - That's an impressive turnout - it puts western democracies to shame. [/quote]
I honestly do not know when your last elections were there in the UK but I have pulled some information you might find interesting.
In regards to the 2001 UK voter turn-out
correct me if I am wrong but in 2001 it seems as if you had a 59.3% voter turn-out
now, if you will copy and paste this link
it seems, even if only by a small margin, the US had a better voter turn-out (60%)in our last election than the UK.
You have no room in which to speak Simon.
Kansas District Overbeer
p.s. forgive the non-clickable links. I only use firefox
You have no room in which to speak Simon.
erm, maybe you are not aware but we (the uk) are generally classed as on of the western democracies, hence my statement:
That's an impressive turnout - it puts western democracies to shame
And if you think 59.3% and 60% are "different" then you need to learn about stats, significant places and margin of error - to all intent it's the same number !
Not that they are different Simon but that the UK is not any better than the US.
As for the UK being classed among Western Democracies, I was not aware. When we speak of western democracy on the forum, it is usually dealing with American democracy so I naturally assumed.
But, alas, I assumed incorrectly and apologize.
Kansas District Overbeer
I think it is awesome that so many Iraquis turned out for the elections, in spite of the threat of violence from the fanatical insurgents. Even if it *is* a mere 20%, that still shows incredible courage and hope for people that have lived under such a tyrranical regime for this long. Hopefully, women will have a strong place in the new government, gaining ground in such major issues as women's education and health.
This is the only article I could find today pertaining to women in the government, and women's rights in Iraq: MARÍA CRISTINA CABALLE
Women's rights put to test in Iraq
By María Cristina Caballer | January 30, 2005
THE FATE of Iraqi women's rights rests on the outcome of today's election. Zainab Al-Suwaij and Ala Talabani, two prominent Iraqi women leaders, say the elections will decide whether women will really become equal citizens or lose their voices.
Women are the majority in Iraq: 55 of every 100 citizens. And for the first time, the interim constitution guarantees at least a quarter of the 275 seats in Iraq's new National Assembly to women.
But Al-Suwaij and Talabani have spoken out against the efforts of some conservatives and religious extremists to limit the role of women in the new Iraq, and to impose restrictions on the feminine majority. ''Some are using violence -- shootings and car bombs -- to try to stop women from campaigning and being elected," Al-Suwaij says.
That women's rights are an explosive issue is a bitter reality for Al-Suwaij, 33, who grew up under the harsh rule of Saddam Hussein, took up arms against the Iraqi ruler, and today is working to bring democracy to a country that is struggling both with Hussein's legacy and an age-old authoritarian tradition. With her friend and comrade Talabani, Al-Suwaij has been working to ensure that freedom extends to all the population. This, they say, is a crucial moment for women in Iraq.
Before becoming a peace-wager, Al-Suwaij was a warrior -- and has the bullet scar on her cheek to prove it. At 20, during the 1991 Gulf War, she heeded the words of the first President Bush, who broadcast messages on Voice of America urging the Iraqi people to rebel against Hussein, promising US support. As an armed fighter, she helped open the gates of a prison where there was a human meat grinder for those who didn't confess. The promised support never arrived, and the battle-scarred veteran went into exile in the United States. Lately she has focused on training Iraqi women leaders about democracy. ''I called it Democracy 101," Al-Suwaij says.
As part of the program financed by $1.5 million from USAID, Al-Suwaij recently gathered 70 Iraqi women from nine provinces. Twenty-five of them are running for office in today's elections. ''Some of them have not had the opportunity to study higher education, but they are very smart and capable. Very impressive," she says.
Al-Suwaij especially admires the courage of Bedor Alyassri, 36, from Samwah. After the American occupation, Alyassri organized meetings among women, following her heart and her instincts.
''Bedor has been targeted for her work," says Al-Suwaij. ''She doesn't know exactly who is trying to assassinate her. Could be insurgents, or members of other political parties who don't like the fact that she is mobilizing many people."
Talabani, a civil engineer who has also been struggling to empower Iraqi women, was fired from her job for refusing to join Hussein's Baath party 15 years ago. After joining the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, she was detained by the Iraqi security service. In 1996, she went into exile in England and helped organize the Women's Union of Kurdistan. She recently trained 75 women in political leadership, and hopes that some will be elected today.
Even with some women guaranteed political posts today, the women of Iraq have a long way to go before Iraqi men treat them as political or social equals.
''In this first election, the candidates will be elected based upon religious orientation," Talabani said. ''This will be a party-based election, not based upon their points of view on issues or projects."
Both women fear that if extremists are elected, they might consider it a mandate to resurrect measures such as the infamous ''Resolution 137," an attempt to restrict women's rights ''by making religious Sharia family law into civil law." Al-Suwaij said Resolution 137 would not have allowed women to leave their houses without asking for permission from their husbands, while Talabani pointed out that the resolution would have allowed men to marry several women without going to a court.
Resolution 137 was defeated this past March. But today brings a fresh vote on women's status in Iraq. Talabani pointed out that Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim, the man behind Resolution 137, is campaigning to become president. She strongly hopes he doesn't win.
Despite the many battles ahead, both women are hopeful; each would like someday to be president of a democratic Iraq. Then they could get some real work done.
''We, the women, are building bridges among cultural, ethnic, and religious divides," Talabani says.
Supporting Iraqi women leaders who are risking their lives to help rebuild their country should be a higher priority for the United States and the international community. It is necessary to multiply the resources being invested in this vital front. Iraqi women leaders are key players in this nation's struggle toward democracy. When the last US troops pull out, it will the Iraqi women who will try harder to keep the peace.
MarÃa Cristina Caballero is a fellow at Harvard University's Center for Public Leadership.
In the election of 2002 there was 100% turnout and Saddam got 100% of the vote now how impressive is that?